Francisco Lindor #12 of the Mets reacts after his third inning...

Francisco Lindor #12 of the Mets reacts after his third inning RBI base hit against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on Monday, May 30, 2022 in the Queens borough of New York City. Credit: Jim McIsaac

By the time Pete Alonso got in on the fun, swatting his 13th home run of the season an estimated 417 feet to centerfield in the eighth inning, the game had long since been decided.

The Mets were closing in on a 13-5 win over the Nationals on Monday with at least one big takeaway: If they can score like this — or even like half of this — they will be just fine as they await the return of their injured aces and other key players.

And if they can keep scoring like this when those reinforcements arrive? Use your imagination.

The Mets are 33-17 and have won four consecutive games for the first time this season. At the end of Memorial Day, a noteworthy if unofficial checkpoint on the baseball calendar, they lead the NL East by 9 1⁄2 games, by far the largest division margin in the majors.

They are second in the majors with 5.12 runs per game. Last year they were fourth-to-last with 3.93 runs per game. “Sometimes you just get out of their way,” manager Buck Showalter said, “and let them do their thing.”

Francisco Lindor led the offensive barrage by going 3-for-5. In less than two weeks, he has boosted his average from .228 to .262 and his OPS from .709 to .800. His single in the first inning extended his RBI streak to eight games.

Lindor has 40 RBIs. Last year he didn’t reach that mark until Sept. 4. “It’s fun to watch,” he said. “It’s fun to be a part of it. I don’t feel like I have to get it done — as long as I help my teammates.”

His first hit was just the start for the Mets. The statistical and visual highlights were many.

Every starter except designated hitter Jeff McNeil had at least one hit. They scored multiple runs in each of the first four innings. Nationals righthander Erick Fedde gave up six runs and lasted only 1 1⁄3 innings.

Alonso’s homer was the 119th of his career. He passed Ed Kranepool (118) for 12th on the Mets’ all-time list. Up next: Edgardo Alfonzo at 120.

Luis Guillorme, batting leadoff in place of Brandon Nimmo (sprained right wrist) and playing second base in place of McNeil (unspecified leg issues), went 2-for-4 and is hitting .447 (21-for-47) in his past 17 games. He has 10 multi-hit games in 23 starts. And he contributed his usual sharp defense, including fielding a slow grounder barehanded and finishing with a sidearm strike to first base for an out, a no-look flip to Lindor for a forceout at second, and a backhanded stop on the edge on the outer edge of the infield dirt to start a double play.

“Luis put on a clinic at second base,” Showalter said. “I’m not real sure we win the game tonight if he doesn’t make some of those plays. He’s got a great imagination.”

Nick Plummer (3-for-4, four RBIs) became the first Met to homer in both of his first two career starts. After his tying blast in the ninth inning Sunday night, he had a three-run shot in the fourth inning against Washington (18-32).

“It’s fun to sit there and watch the joy he gets from being here in the big leagues and contributing,” Showalter said.

All that came after the Mets fell behind by three in the first inning. David Peterson (four runs, 4 2⁄3 innings) finished an out shy of the requisite five innings to qualify for the layup win.

“Sometimes we like being down,” Starling Marte (3-for-4) said, “just so we can come back.”


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